Article at a Glance
- Ayurveda originated in ancient India and is one of the world’s oldest healing systems.
- Ayurveda aims to maintain good health, rather than to cure a disease.
- Ayurvedic practitioners believe that physical and mental stress leads to a weakened immune system, so they advise therapies to help relieve these stresses.
The life of a busy professional is one with extreme demands on time, energy, and focus. It can be difficult to step away from your work for self-care. Every moment away from work is time that the business isn’t growing. These demands bring a level of stress that impacts your mind, body, and soul. And while the work busy people do may face new-world problems, the ancient tenets of Ayurveda may have some helpful solutions for how to find balance. Fortunately, Ayurvedic medicine for mental performance can positively impact work output.
Let’s dive in and see how achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle through ayurvedic therapies can help people who are overworked.
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that is typically used as an anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing substance) and an adaptogen (a substance that helps the body adapt to stressors). It’s efficacy has been particularly shown in individuals with chronic stress. Among that population, a 69% average reduction in both anxiety and insomnia after using ashwagandha twice a day for 60 days was reported. Additionally, there was an overall reduction in cortisol levels by 27% and an increase in testosterone by 15% [R].
Ashwagandha has also been shown to promote quality sleep in those with stress-induced sleep deprivation [R]. We know that optimal sleep helps job performance. In addition, Ashwagandha helps to fight infections and keep busy professionals stay healthy by increasing the activity of natural killer cells [R]. It has also been shown to improve concentration and energy levels and decrease body fat [R][R].
Brahmi (also known as Bacopa Monnieri or water hyssop) is an ayurvedic herb used in the treatment of anxiety issues, mental illness, depression, and neurological disorders. It also protects the brain cells from stress-related aging.
A study on human memory was conducted in 76 adults between the ages of 40-65. Interestingly, the study showed that Brahmi decreased the rate of forgetting [R]. By preventing damage to the neurons, it can improve memory and cognition.
Brahmi acts as a stimulant during the day and a calming agent at night, doubling its benefit. This both improves focus and alertness, and also enhances the quality of sleep.
Shilajit is a traditional Ayurvedic agent that is rich in nutrients and minerals. It is known for its anti-stress and adaptogenic properties.
Research has also indicated that shilajit preserves the function of mitochondrial function, which takes in nutrients and produces energy [R]. Shilajit also contains fulvic acid, which promotes energy production and reduces fatigue [R].
Turmeric is known for its antioxidant properties. It scavenges oxygen free radicals, which damage cells, proteins, and DNA. Using turmeric powder has been shown to aid in wound healing and be protective against certain types of cancer [R]. It has also shown efficacy as an anti-inflammatory agent with mechanisms of action similar to that of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [R].
Abhyanga is an oil massage featuring long, rhythmic strokes and circular movements around joints. It can be performed on one’s self or by a practitioner.
A study was conducted to evaluate the physical and mental benefits of Ayurvedic massage. It demonstrated that Abhyanga produces a decrease in subjective stress. It also reduced the heart rate in all subjects and decreased blood pressure in subjects who had slightly elevated pressures [R].
The life of a busy professional is subject to stress from many sources while also requiring extra energy for the long hours of work required. But it’s hard to make a business thrive if the people behind it are barely surviving. If you’re interested in trying out some of these ancient therapies in developing a lifestyle that will support your lofty goals, take a look at our directory. You can find an integrative or functional physician near you who can implement Ayurvedic practices and suggest ayurvedic herbs for mental performance.
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